ATLANTA (AP) -- The number of backlogged veterans' health care applications grew despite the Veterans Administration in 2010 introducing an online program touted as a quick, easy way to apply for benefits.<br />
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( http://bit.ly/1o2crUv ) reports the number of backlogged applications had grown to nearly 848,700 by 2012 and Atlanta-based program analyst Kimberly Hughes discovered that as many as 47,786 veterans died while their applications were pending.<br />
Assistant deputy under secretary for health for administrative operations Philip Matkovsky says some backlogged applications may be duplicates from a previous information system and may be more than a decade old. He says Atlanta workers have been asked to contact all veterans with pending applications.<br />
Hughes, who oversaw the Health Eligibility Center's informatics division, says she made the same suggestion more than two years ago.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
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